• Djokovic says socializing with rivals not really possible

    5/23/11 12:48 PM | Johan Lindahl
    Djokovic says socializing with rivals not really possible Novak Djokovic is happy to have dinner occasionally with rivals including Andy Murray or Rafael Nadal. But when it comes to forming a strong friendship, that will have to wait until after their tennis is done.

    The Serb who has yet to lose a match this season and carries a 37-0 record into his French Open first-round match, said that while he's cordial with all of his competitors, there is a line to be drawn.

    "Sometimes, I have dinner with Andy or Rafa; but the reality is none of us can be real mates while we are fighting for history," he told London tabloid the Mail on Sunday. "But one day, when we've all retired, I look forward to sitting down over a beer with them all, and their families, and remember what we went through.

    "Roger, Rafa, Andy and myself have a very civil relationship, with a great respect for one another."

    The low-key Serb was also quick to praise those who would love nothing better than to end his streak in Paris. "I have only nice words to say about Rafa," he said. "He always wants to improve and you never see him disrespect another player.

    "And Roger, his results say everything. With 16 Grand Slam titles, he's the most successful player ever. He may lose a little more often, but everything can change in the next month if he wins in Paris and at Wimbledon."

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The description of Djoko as the "low key Serb" makes me laugh. He is playing exceptional tennis but in the past has been one of the most boastful, disrespectful players. Maybe he is re-inventing himself after the rude celebration when he beat Nadal in Madrid. The change would be welcome, tennis needs ambassadors with more class. In my opinion.

warmnsunny , 5/25/11 2:09 AM

warmnsunny, who is fav player?

bryanindo , 5/25/11 2:42 AM

@ warmnsunny,
Rude celebration in Madrid? There's nothing wrong with the way Novak celebrated after winning madrid. Perhaps he just got carried away with the fact that it was his first time beating Nadal on clay. Maybe you should direct your attention to Madrid crowd because they dont even acknowledge the Novak after he won the final point. Its good for you since you actually laugh by Novak demeanor. Its good for your heart though.

Alexthia23 , 5/25/11 10:03 AM

The low key Serb?????????

nadline , 5/25/11 11:13 AM

I thought he actually over-celebrated too but he had every right to do it altho Rafa may not have felt too good about it. He did it in Rome too but it is very understandable for a player to be overjoyed to beat the King of Clay on clay

torres9 , 5/25/11 11:31 AM

What to you expect from the guy who is fighting himself so hard trough match to keep his emotions calm. And you win, match is over, you give credits take trophy, give presser, you are back in hotel... when... when you can explode? Should he wait to go to shower and hide?

Serbian mentality is similar to Spanish, or any South European... We are all known for excessive celebrations, fiestas, public gathering to celebrate victories... Novak is has very same, and emotive as he is he have hard time controlling it... But I think that it is not rude to vent himself at hotel... On court it is different story...

On court I think that Novak behavior is top notched, and dare to say even better than Rafas.

atg , 5/25/11 12:21 PM

I see Djokovic has never had dinner with Federer so there is no love lost there.

nadline , 5/25/11 12:56 PM

I agree with the statements about Djokovic being OVER aggressive after his win in Madrid and expecially his camp wearing their personalized tee shirts with the number 7 in bold black The whole team are in your face with their excessive gestures etc It is not nessary and shows no respect to the other player at all

sals3 , 5/25/11 12:57 PM

I take it Djokovic doesn't socialize with his fellow Serbian tennis players, or does he think they are not his rivals?

nadline , 5/25/11 1:02 PM

^^ i think the question was in regard to the top 4 only, though you wouldnt know that from the way the article is written.
and as for not having dinner with federer, well do you blame him? ;)

mriiidula , 5/25/11 1:39 PM

He knew Serbian tennis players before he started competing against them. Rest of tour he knows trough competitions, so it makes sense putting friendship in second plan. It is fact, said by Novak but the same will be told by anyone. Title is misleading and sensationalistic, as we have expected from Johan.

But main discussion is excessive celebration with Novak and his camp. I think that it is in correlation to some extent with magnitude of success. You simply won't see that again, because it happened, repeating the same thing won't bring same emotions... I remember that Rafa had similar outbursts of joy after completed his milestone matches... Fed fans were noticing that :) Federer breakthrough was long time ago, but most of them won't recognize their idol from old days... Federer didn't brake first racket in match with Novak as most news said...

Novak team is his burden, and as a Novak fan, there isn't single man except Marin Vajda that I like. But I don't expect incidents, even if they are prone to them. Most of you didn't know that Rome security prevented his father to enter locker room, calling him names. In old days, I would expect from father to explode and cause incidents, but it went smooth... So I believe they will become calmer...

Novak fans is another even bigger burden. As Novak become now the best sportsman with biggest success in Serbia. I do expect that all hooligans will call themselves Novak fans and will gloat in his success, in absence of other competitive sports. Serbian hooligans, are one of the worst not just by brutality and craziness, but worst when it comes to loyalty... One bad move, few bad matches, and you are from idol, becoming target...

In all that circumstances, I really think that Novak is copping great with his demons.

atg , 5/25/11 2:04 PM

what he said about Roger tickles my funny bone. :) they're not fans of each other, are they? :D

cherylmurray , 5/25/11 2:07 PM

@cherylmurray-- No they not... :)

spoonnie , 5/25/11 2:30 PM

I remember that Rafa had similar outbursts of joy after completed his milestone matches... Fed fans were noticing that :)

atg , 5/25/11 2:04 PM

Give an example of such similar outburst by Rafa and his team.

I seem to remember that when Rafa won his first h/c GS title, he did not even celebrate, it was the cry-baby who showed all the emotions. Have you ever seen Uncle Toni doing anything remotely looking like girating half naked on a car bonnet with Rafa and the rest of the team cheering him on?

nadline , 5/25/11 2:32 PM

I just had a REALLY amusing image of Uncle Toni doing a little bump and grind on the hood of a car.

hahahahahaha. Good stuff. :D

cherylmurray , 5/25/11 2:54 PM

Oh come on, give the guy a break. I just think most Serbians like to celebrate well - so let them have their fun. Nole hasn't said or done anything on court that's been disrespectful of late, so I don't see what the fuss is all about.

Most players fall on their backs, roll around and kick about as though they come under some weird wasp attack. Seems a bit like over-celebrating to me, but we aren't in their position to know how they feel. After all it is their hard work and their success.

As long as it isn't offensive, I don't see any harm in it.

Who has dinner with Federer? Tiger Woods and Ana Wintour, perhaps?

samprallica , 5/25/11 3:34 PM

@nadline, If Novak starts crying after winning matches, would it be considered more appropriate?

Rafa and Novak are completely different personalities, introvert and extravert. How they are dealing with their joy is different, but in neither case it is driven with motive to disrespect opponent. I can't find exact moment, and there wasn't much of them for sure... But I was surprised with Nadal reaction, which logically means it is not typical for him. I wasn't suggesting that Rafa does that, more like it can happen sometimes.

Rafa team, and Novak team can't be compared. What can I tell more. I am Novak fan, and I am disgusted with their behavior (except Vajda). I still have Rome images of Igor Cetojevic (his gluten guru) in my head that I would like to forget ;)

But what makes me proud is that Novak is standing out from his environment, and having in mind his emotions, his character he is doing great. I don't see disrespect toward others, inappropriate behavior or something out of ordinary.

I am not fan of crying in win or loss, save it for WTA. I do like his Roarrr attitude, and it perfectly blends with his streak and his image right now. I am sure it will end with his streak, but somehow, right now it goes with it.

I've seen some changes in Rafa behavior as well... Never saw Rafa pumping fist and Vamosing on opponent lost 2nd serve. That was so Ana Ivanovic nowadays...

atg , 5/25/11 3:46 PM

when and if nole takes #1 real celebration will start :), ajde nole!

rfzr , 5/25/11 3:53 PM


stu , 5/25/11 4:12 PM

starts around ~ 3 mins, celebration directly in ivo's face while he is waiting on the net for a handshake.

rfzr , 5/25/11 4:19 PM

Can't believe how quickly people forget the US Open final, when Djokovic jumped over the net and walked midway thru the court where Rafa was rolling around vamosing to hug and congratulate him. Was Rafa's display disrespectful to Djokovic? Of course not, because it was his first US Open. But Madrid was Nole's coming-of-age, when he truly believed he had it in him to break the Fedal stronghold after _THREE_YEARS_ at #3. Come on guys, give him a break!

How many players have you seen cross the net to congratulate a Slam winner in recent years? (I'm looking at you, Fedal)

stu , 5/25/11 4:22 PM

Different cultures do things differently so we can't have one standard to suit all but don't start saying that Rafa does it as well when you haven't actually got any proof. I think it's a bit unfair to expect a player not to celebrate an achievement because they don't want to offend their opponent, that's crazy. Why wouldn't anyone want to celebrate and I doubt if Rafa objected to any of this, if he did then he shouldn't have.

It's a sport and the whole object of the exercise is to beat the other guy; having done that you have every right to celebrate, which is why I thought Roger crying and making Rafa feel bad for beating him at the AO was so wrong. Rafa was even too embarrased to lift the trophy, that was in very bad taste.

I love to see players celebrate winning a point whether it's a double fault or not or an UE, they've won a point so the fist pumps, chest beating or applauding yourself with you racquet held above your head to show the crowd how great you are. This is all part of the competition, just like taking it out on your racquet, which I know is banned, but they have to express themselves somehow. Obviously, I only enjoy the celebration when it's Rafa doing it because I'm happy for him but everyone is entitled to celebrate in their own way.

nadline , 5/25/11 4:23 PM

rfzr the wanker exagerating again. what's wrong with rafa celebrating like that, he did what most players do and ran to the net! jealousy and hatred won't get you anywhere hater. i suppose when novak starts losing again and takes his famous strategically planned MTOs, retires from sore throats, leg cramps, etc and the like that's all very classy! crawl back to your hole you guys!

jean , 5/25/11 4:31 PM

^^ i guess based on that then your comment "Have you ever seen Uncle Toni doing anything remotely looking like girating half naked on a car bonnet with Rafa and the rest of the team cheering him on?" doesnt stand.

mriiidula , 5/25/11 4:33 PM

'Who has dinner with Federer? Tiger Woods and Ana Wintour, perhaps?' ;-) I think that Roger in his teens and very early 20's was a lot more endearing, temper and all, before the world's over-adulation got to his head, the poor sod.

Nole always was a mix bag with a whole lot of very decent behaviour and respect to all in there... despite his family etc... and over the years he has grown away from those of his family's ways he didn't want to adopt or keep... so what's left over is almost all the latter: very decent behaviour and respect to everyone else.

Is Novak's head a little swollen with all the streaking success and adulation? Yes, a bit, but not overly so. I think he is living the tension of doing his best to remain consistent and keep collected and effective on court in each match and each portion of it. This got him through the semi-final against Murray 10 days ago when it looked for an entire hour like he was going to lose.

One day this streak will end and with it some of the extra pressure. At this point even if Nadal wins RG Novak will almost certainly rise to ATP number one. If Nadal does not regain it soon after then Novak will live a new type of pressure: in the spotlight world-over, and every gunning more to defeat him whenever his game is not entirely on. I think that he will deal with this very well, with a mixture of plenty of humility and a bit of the opposite ... and who would do better as the newly sainted Serbian almost-god?

chlorostoma , 5/25/11 5:00 PM

^^ i guess based on that then your comment "Have you ever seen Uncle Toni doing anything remotely looking like girating half naked on a car bonnet with Rafa and the rest of the team cheering him on?" doesnt stand.

mriiidula , 5/25/11 4:33 PM

Why not? It was a response to atg saying that Rafa had "similar outbursts of joy after completed his milestone matches...

nadline , 5/25/11 5:16 PM

i'm sorry but to me that sounded derogatory. and your post at 4:23 PM clearly (and quite rightly in my opinion) states that we cant judge/compare ways in which two people from different places let out their emotions.

mriiidula , 5/25/11 5:29 PM

Why is it derogatory, I only described what happened. So you think girating on the bonnet of a car is derogatory, then take it up with the team not me.

nadline , 5/25/11 5:34 PM

I admire Nole's game and think he thoroughly deserves his coming elevation to the summit of the men's game but I cannot warm to him.........and I know's his entourage.....they are so.......boorish.

Before anyone says Nole should not be blamed for the conduct of his entourage, I say this: you are who your friends are............just is what I was brought up to believe.

rafaisthebest , 5/25/11 5:54 PM

i'm not a fan of the way his team celebrated at madrid either, but i have nothing against it. i just wouldnt go to YT and watch it on repeat.

mriiidula , 5/25/11 6:06 PM

Yeah, right... You don't like your father manners, cut him off - don't talk to him anymore. You don't like mad nutrician who made you miracle diet - loose him, he did his job... It is easy to turn your back, it is much harder to overcome it and be a better man. There is lot of ill relationships and parenting issues within great athletes as there is lot of hard choices to make. Lot of sad stories behind successful carriers.

Novak loyalty and trust to his team is exceptional, he is not changing them whenever he is down. And that is more important than fact that some of them were little bit carried away.

Novak is great athlete, has good sportsmanship and good friend to everyone when he is loosing. When he wins, he got so many flaws suddenly. Some of you should learn from Novak how to loose...

atg , 5/25/11 6:09 PM

@Chlorostoma, yes I certainly liked ponytailed Roger a lot more than the one who came into the Australian '05.

Also, I don't think Nole is as modest as Rafa is; not even close, but does he need to be? On court, both players do their come-ons as vociferously and they both celebrate their wins quite demonstratively. Nole is still the player who applauds his opponent during the match.

I find it all quite appalling. Novak has started to win, and everyone finds a way to put him down. Family, entourage, insinuations of cheating - I guess it only shows how they feel threatened :P

samprallica , 5/25/11 6:13 PM

jean: you are way too predictable, you need to improve your variety ;) and posts related to tennis are welcome. cheers.

rfzr , 5/25/11 6:15 PM

Well said, atg. It's almost as if Novak has to disown his family and his team to gain people's approval. What absolute nonsense.

samprallica , 5/25/11 6:19 PM

great post @6:09 atg

stu , 5/25/11 6:29 PM

Nole's biggest weakness is his family and now his fans.

holdserve , 5/25/11 6:40 PM

...suppose when novak starts losing again and takes his famous strategically planned MTOs, retires from sore throats, leg cramps, etc and the like that's all very classy! crawl back to your hole you guys!...
WTF is this... what are you talking about???
What should I say to you now... but I will try, I am really trying not to answer to gibberish you are talking here...
Proportionally with raise of Novak's game... there is wave of insults and misbehaving of some Rafans here.
I am really on the edge of nerves... and other Rafans do not react!
There were few new fans of Nole... not to name them now... but you will find posts by me, Mriidula, Stu... calming them... warning them not to glow and to show some respect to Rafa.
What is this pearl of wisdom article from mysterious Johan???
Like always Novak is speaking true!!!
We can be together, but tomorrow we will fight... in 20 years we will make commercials like Lecont and Mats... but now... there is respect only!
WHAT IS WRONG with that statement?
Now it is Nole's father subject of discussion here???
Should I google some dirt about Rafa's parents divorce and post it here?
Just accept that Nole is best player in the world ( in this moment ) and everything will be easy. I repeat "in this moment"... he has more to do to reach results of Rafa, not to mention Roger.
But this is Nole's time, and he won't hide again in some hole...

zare , 5/25/11 6:41 PM

holdserve: why don't you report us, you seem to have talent for that?

rfzr , 5/25/11 7:08 PM


Don't forget Johan = jean

numero , 5/25/11 7:08 PM

I think every top player feels the same,
Nole is just speaking it out...

textor , 5/25/11 7:28 PM

Novak speaks when most of them stays quiet... I remember of his radical ideas when he was in player council. I am looking forward to read his biography once he gets in 50's. I expects something Agassi if not more intriguing...

atg , 5/25/11 8:45 PM

holdserve, LOL,, all he does is report people...

I see not much difference in the way Rafa and Nole celebrate really. I think it's understandable if you celebrate that way and it's also great for their fans to see their fav player win.

But sometimes I try to put myself in the opponents shoes. You just lost your game and the other guy do fist-pumps and jumping and screaming. Certainly not the best feeling.

torres9 , 5/25/11 9:20 PM

rfzr, I don't remember interacting with you. Whom and what do you want me to report? So far I have reported only torres9 because despite several warnings he insisted on harassing me with personal and illogical attacks.
If you make repeated personal attacks on me, I will definitely report you but I did not realize that reporting trolls is a talent. Good to know that you consider me talented.

holdserve , 5/25/11 9:21 PM

holdserve, you personally attack Fed fans and no one reported you because we know you're just an illogical troll... LOL..

And jean's comments is hypocritical. When Rafa says he has fever, injured, tendonitis, bla bla bla, it's true but = Novak's giving the same reasons is considered 'strategically planned'

Some Rafa fans needs to stop giving double-standard to other players not named Rafael Nadal.

torres9 , 5/25/11 9:27 PM

holdserve: given your 2% i expected more from you, but you got me disappointed.

reporting, informing, snitching, go figure ...

rfzr , 5/25/11 10:01 PM

rfzr, reporting trolls is a duty which all good fans should accept. Are you in the bottom 2% of logic?
What I can't understand is that I don't remember any interaction with you but you have launched a suo motu personal attack on me. Are you a multiple id of numero or torres9?

holdserve , 5/25/11 10:23 PM

Nole's biggest weakness is his family and now his fans.
holdserve, 5/25/11 6:40 PM

that's kinda funny, i swear i could say the same about nadal.

in fact it was just last year where rafans were rooting for nole in almost every match (except against rafa of course). it was as if rafa fans were nole fans and vice versa, and fed was like this common enemy. and now that nole's managed to beat rafa twice on clay, and is being talked up highly by the media, some of you feel so threatened that you need to psycho-analyse everything thing he does and put a negative spin on it.

Some Rafa fans needs to stop giving double-standard to other players not named Rafael Nadal.
torres9, 5/25/11 9:27 PM

couldn't have put it better myself.

mriiidula , 5/25/11 10:46 PM

holdserve is like a baby. You call him 'illogical', he's gonna report you. He can't give good points other than trolling comments.

holdserve=TT troll

torres9 , 5/26/11 3:03 AM

Torres-troll, you are totally illogical. You attacked me first, I defended myself saying your opinion did not matter as I am top2% in logic. This started further attacks by the triple headed hydra-troll. Since your logic is poor, you are unable to distinguish between cause and effect. Now that reporting has not helped, I am going to respond to every troll attack of you and your fellow trolls numero and rfzr. I don't even remember interacting with rfzr but unprovoked he attacked me calling me 2% etc. Did you think I reported you because I was scared of you? You are pathetic!

holdserve , 5/26/11 3:53 AM

torres9-troll, I am not offended by your calling me a troll. I am responding to your attacks and imitating you. As you are a troll, I might appear like a troll to you. Recognize yourself, torres9-troll, I am just imitating you. What you see is a deliberate mirror-image created to fight you. You have got your teeth into me and you are worrying me. I am going to do the same to you, 2% at the other end of the logic spectrum torres9-troll.

holdserve , 5/26/11 4:51 AM


torres9 , 5/26/11 7:12 AM

What is a person within 2% of the better end of the logic spectrum doing on TT? Shouldn't you be talking sense into politicians around the world and stopping wars?

As for celebrations, the most consistently low-key celebrations I've seen coming from a player was from Safin. The rest fall about, jump about, do everything and expect others not to? That's nonsense of the highest order.

samprallica , 5/26/11 8:20 AM

Also, a person at the better end of the logic spectrum would know clearly the why rfzr is not torres or numero :D

2 %, my foot.

samprallica , 5/26/11 8:27 AM

samprallica who are you to order me about and tell me what I should do? You must really curb these dictatorial tendencies, my dear.
Why should I not enjoy conversing with morons? It is very relaxing. Especially when their small minds get riled.
So you are joining the hydra-trolls or are you a multiple id of rfzr?
As for your foot, how did that come into the picture? Ah, what? Your foot got into your mouth. 2% of your foot? Somewhat incoherent, aren't you? tut tut. Not surprising, of course, if your foot is obstructing your words.
or did you mean that you are bottom 2% in the logic spectrum? Foot is at the bottom. That makes sense. Yes, yes, very honest of you to admit you are at the bottom. Your incoherence makes your admission cryptic. But no doubt you knew I could figure it out.

holdserve , 5/26/11 8:49 AM

You need help, my friend. And quickly too. :D

samprallica , 5/26/11 8:55 AM

Ha ha, you had no answer. Actually you need help quickly, my dear deluded friend. With foot in mouth problem or bottom of the evolutionary ladder or whatever.
In any case you should not have interfered in my battle with the hydra-trolls. It had nothing to do with you and had you been objective (impossible for you? ) you would have seen I tried to avoid engaging the trolls but they persisted in attacking me. Perhaps like hyenas they sensed a possible kill and rushed in. As reporting one troll did not deter him, I had no option but to declare war on them. Why should I turn my other cheek?

holdserve , 5/26/11 9:13 AM

Goodness. *facepalm*

samprallica , 5/26/11 9:17 AM

"Never argue with a two-percenter for that would make two" *whistles*

samprallica , 5/26/11 9:19 AM

The bottomline, dear- samprallica-who-needs-help, don't argue with someone smarter than you.

holdserve , 5/26/11 9:24 AM

Your mind... is it natural... or it is result many years practice of work on primitivism, arrogance and stupidity...
You are everywhere... posting like on steroids... go and get a life for while!

zare , 5/26/11 11:43 AM

zare, u r another bird of prey? All the trolls and beats are being attracted by me, it appears.

holdserve , 5/26/11 3:59 PM

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